House Democrats on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for inciting a mob that attacked the Capitol last week, vowing to press the charge.
The single impeachment article accuses Trump of making repeated false claims about widespread fraud in the US election, inciting his supporters to interrupt a vote on Biden’s Electoral College victory in Congress last week, and pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn Biden’s win in the Peach State.
House Democrats gathered Monday to officially push Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump after last week’s violent US Capitol siege.
But that motion was immediately blocked by Republicans, and Democrats moved to bring impeachment proceedings to the floor in a bid to make Trump the only commander in chief to be impeached twice.
The 25th amendment resolution from Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin accused Trump of being unable to perform “the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office” and called on Pence to “immediately” use his powers as vice president to convene the cabinet and replace Trump as acting president.
“[T]hese insurrectionary protests were widely advertised and broadly encouraged by President Donald J. Trump, who repeatedly urged his millions of followers on Twitter and other social media outlets to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to ‘‘Stop the Steal’’ of the 2020 Presidential election,” the resolution reads, referring to a rally the president held outside the White House in the hours before the riots.
But House Republicans blocked quick consideration of the bill with GOP Rep. Alex Mooney of West Virginia objecting Monday morning. So per the Democrats’ threat, they will go right to impeachment proceedings on Tuesday.
In a letter to her colleagues on Sunday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on them to “act with urgency,” describing Trump as “an imminent threat” to the Constitution and US democracy.
“As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action,” she said.
The impeachment articles accuse Trump of “inciting an insurrection” as lawmakers gathered to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory last Wednesday, and have drawn more than 180 co-sponsors.
Pelosi admitted in a “60 Minutes” interview Sunday that an impetus for the second impeachment push was to try and bar Trump from being able to run again, potentially in 2024.
Senior Democratic leaders have repeatedly called on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and replace Trump in the wake of last week’s storming of the Capitol which left five people dead.
While several cabinet members have quit in protest of the president’s handling of the crisis, it’s unlikely that Pence will take such drastic and destabilizing action with just nine days left in Trump’s presidency.
The amendment says a president can be involuntarily stripped of his powers if he’s unable to fulfill his duties. Section 4 allows the vice president and cabinet to take power from the president without the chief executive’s consent.
On Friday, White House spokesman Judd Deere warned that impeaching Trump would only pour more gasoline on the fire.
“A politically motivated impeachment against a President, who has done a great job, with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country,” Deere said in a statement.
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While the impeachment articles have overwhelming support among House Democrats, it’s unclear whether they will pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
Several GOP lawmakers have broken with Trump and called on him to resign but have not said whether they would vote to impeach him. It is also not clear the Senate would even take it up in the waning days of his presidency and of this Senate session. The matter may be able to be taken up after Trump leaves office but that is not clear.
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